Re: Indiabulls Commercial Credit Ltd. vs. SIDBI & Anr.
The present petition filed by Indiabulls seeks direction to SIDBI (Respondent no.1) to comply with the circular dated 27.03.2020 issued by RBI (Respondent no.2) and a consequent direction restraining the respondent no.1 from seeking payment of any amounts during the moratorium imposed by the RBI.
Indiabulls (Petitioner) had entered into a loan agreement with the SIDBI whereunder, SIDBI had agreed to disburse a loan of Rs.750 crore to the petitioner and pursuant thereto disbursed a sum of Rs. 575 crores to it. The petitioner had been repaying the loan amount in instalments and never has been a defaulter. The loan instalment of Rs 31,94,79,453 for the month of March, 2020 was duly paid on 09.03.2020.
Contention of the parties
The learned counsel for the petitioner submits that despite the issuance of the circular by the RBI, the respondent no.1 on 03.04.2020 raised the impugned demand towards the instalment payable in April, 2020. The petitioner therefore made a request to the respondent no.1 for grant of moratorium for a period of three months in response whereto the respondent no.1 had while stating that they are awaiting clarification from the RBI, as to whether the circular will be applicable to NBFC like the petitioner and directed to pay instalment due in April.
The learned counsel for the respondents while submitting their contention said that they are still awaiting necessary clarification from the RBI and states that respondent no.1 has already received the payment towards instalment due in April, 2020. He further submits that respondent no.1 is taking expeditious steps to get the necessary clarification from the RBI and contends that in any event, even if the demand from the next month is raised in due course, the petitioner will not be treated as defaulter till a clarification is obtained from the RBI.
The Hon’ble High Court of Delhi noted that despite service of notice, the RBI is unrepresented. The case is disposed of since the petitioner-Indiabulls had paid the instalment due in April before the matter was taken up for hearing and thus nothing survives for adjudication. It was clarified that SIDBI will not raise any further demand on Indiabulls towards the due instalments against the petitioner till it obtains a clarification from the RBI.
It also stated that in case the respondent no.1 receives a clarification from the RBI that the circular dated 27.03.2020 is not applicable to the petitioner and therefore makes a demand towards further installments, the petitioner would be at liberty to assail the said demand in accordance with law.
Summary: The Delhi High Court asked the state run SIDBI (respondent no.1) to ascertain whether the Reserve Bank of India circular dated 27.03.2020 declaring Moratorium on loan repayment for 3 months due to Covid 19 outbreak will be applicable to NBFCs like Indiabulls Commercial Credit Limited who is the petitioner in the present case. Directed SIDBI not to seek payment without RBI clarification.
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